Saraya debuted for AEW last fall, and tells Metro she wanted to play a heel from the jump:
“I always wanted to be a heel, even before [AEW] knew I was gonna be wrestling again. I always wanted to be a bad guy.”
Others at the company knew fans were unlikely to boo someone coming over from WWE, and certainly not someone who was returning six years after being forced into retirement by injury at the age of 25. But the current AEW Women’s World champion knew fans who help her get what she wanted:
“Because I already knew it wasn’t going to be long until they turned on me. I knew that.
“I said that – having conversations before I came to AEW, I was speaking to Jon Moxley, I was speaking to [Chris] Jericho, I was speaking to Tony Khan. They were all telling me, ‘You’re gonna be a babyface first because people are just gonna be happy to see you’. It was really frustrating.”
But Saraya had a plan...
“What I kept doing is I kept throwing in heelish things in promos or how I acted, things like that. I wanted that slow burn anyway and then eventually I was gonna get the opportunity to turn heel – I just had to wait a little bit. It worked out!”
Recently, the former Paige has gotten criticism on social media for what she says is just heel work:
It certainly doesn’t seem like the criticism is going to get Saraya to change her tune though:
“Wrestling twitter is so soft. It’s because it’s a bunch of misogynistic neck beards or stan accounts who can’t tell a wrist lock from a pad lock. But they follow everything I do. Watch my tweets. Search my name. Keep me trending. That’s showbiz baby!”